Monday, April 12, 2010

For Baby Paul

Kim at My Life Through Pink (Green and Blue, too) Colored Glasses contacted me to share a very special story with me. Today I am giving Maryland Pink and Green to her in the hopes that together, we can raise awareness of a very sad and serious issue. As always, thanks for reading.

Hello all! Today's post is not going to be fun loving or light, but I pray you will read on, because it is important. We need to do something, anything we can to help!!! Sadly, I write this post for all parents who have lost a baby to SIDS. I've always known about SIDS and remember put baby "back" to sleep. Even remember when Pampers had it on their diapers. While a great catch phrase, it didn't mean too much to me. I have had four perfectly healthy little ones, no real struggles. God has blessed me.

My newest baby, now almost 16 months old, has an incredible godmother whom I love dearly. I chose her to be my son's godmother, because of her love for God and children. She is a preschool teacher and has two children of her own -- one grown and one in middle school. This is her son's story, a story that has become all too real.

Baby Paul was a beautiful surprise come early -- he was born April 12, 2009 (Easter Sunday). While early, Baby Paul was fine. He was healthy and he was thriving! He had his family wrapped around his tiny finger.

He grew and had even said Dada a couple of times. Spring turned into summer turned into fall.

All was going as it was supposed to, Thanksgiving was the next day. "Dada" put the baby down for a nap and the nightmare began. I don't know the specifics, nor do I want to, because they can't change the outcome. "Dada" went to check on Baby Paul that Thanksgiving eve and he had stopped breathing. Baby Paul was transported to the local Children's Hospital and great care was given to both him and his family. There were times where there were glimpses of hope. It wasn't to be. Baby Paul left this earth on November 29, 2009. I still can hear my friend calling me to tell me she was going to tell her grandson goodbye, I didn't know what to do. Still don't, but I hope this is what is right.

Baby Paul's parents did the most amazing thing. They donated his organs to save other little ones! There are three children still living today, because of their compassion. At the funeral, Baby Paul's mother said her son lived on, because his organs saved others. What a beautiful and strong woman she is!

According to the CJ Foundation for SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death among infants one month through one year of age in theUnited States. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) defines SIDS as the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the clinical history. SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion, assigned only once all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out. You can go HERE for their list of ways to reduce the risk. This is information to pass on to anyone who is pregnant or has a newborn.

What can we do? Well, we need to help by making sure research is funded. There have been many advances made. Yet, there is still much work to be done. I can not give this plea justice, here is what Ricki had to say, a mother who lost her son two years ago,

"Well, I will say this... the facts are there. Up to 3,800 babies every year die from this monster called SIDS. That's 10 a day on average. Our society is too far advanced to still be having this tragic event occur. The only reason we don't have the answers that we want is that not enough money is being funded to the medical doctors that need it to do their research. There are doctors who have dedicated their careers to finding a cause... to finding a way to stop it. A few of the leading researchers are given yearly grants by the US, but when their money runs out, there is nothing more that they can do that year. Donating money is the number one way we can ALL contribute to SIDS Research... Donating time is the number two way. Taking the time to learn about SIDS personally... and taking the time to spread that knowledge to every family who plans to have a baby, to every pregnant woman, to every parent and to every person who will simply tell it someone else. My son is among the millions of babies who have lost their lives suddenly; unexpectedly, lives that never got the chance to be truly lived...

I would have loved to have been given the chance to watch my son grow up. I often wonder what he would have looked like today as a two year old toddler. I am sure that 16 years from now I will wonder which college he would be attending... and 30 years from now I will still wonder. I will wonder what his children (my grandchildren) would have looked like, who he would have married, what he WOULD have become... but those are memories that will never be made.
The worst of it all is that I'm not sure if I will ever know why. The one thing I DO know is that I will not just sit back and watch SIDS continually take innocent life after innocent life. Until I take my final breath, I will still be searching for answers if it is still happening.
There's no words to quite describe the feeling a mother endures after losing her child. It's a multitude of emotional waves that not even the highest could scholar could describe it with words."

Ricki is also the organizer of a fundraising walk in South Carolina, the CJ and Julie Strides for Babies, to be held Saturday, May 15, 2010 and the founder of the Facebook Page SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Research. I highly recommend you check both out and help the cause any way you can.Here is CJ:

and his resting place:

And Julie:

And her resting place:

Do this for Baby Paul, for CJ, for Julie, do it for your children, possibly for the child(ren) you have lost. Do it so that no more parents have to try to figure out what to do on their baby's special day.
This is my birthday present to you Baby Paul. You live on not only through the babies you have already helped, but through those that will be helped in your memory, as well as in the memory of all other babies who were taken too early due to SIDS.

Kim, thank you for building awareness about SIDS. When my minnies were born early, they were so small and fragile. Natalia could not suck on her own and had to be fed with a syringe and Alexia was under 4 pounds. I was so worried about them and am so grateful for their health and happiness today.

Thanks for reading.

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